The trip from Quito to Cotacachi is the first stage of the 2017 Living Legends tour. The cold of the Ecuadorian capital is left behind and the rural areas are from now on the main focus of our project. The perfect roads of Ecuador impress the Colombians of the tour team who speak of them with a mixture of awe and envy. Colombia and Ecuador share many things that are very similar to each other but on the other hand are very different because of a war that one of them has lived for more than 50 years.
Before arriving in Cotacachi, the team makes a brief stop in the fabric and crafts market of Otavalo. Here you will find some typical Ecuatorian culture and you can also find nice gifts for your families, friends and companions. The best part of these purchases is the negotiation, the Germans and the Estonians are left behind by the South Americans, who can negotiate better prices. Sellers watch us coming to the market and any one comes to show everything they have. The most important thing is that we all know that negotiation has begun! 20 dollars, 15 dollars, 12 dollars, well 10 dollars .... When we are moving away, the salesman tells us, well if you buy two, I'll leave it at 8. Now everything is clearer, never show your interest in something in the market, someone says when we get back on the bus and they will always be measuring your skills to lower the price.
Cotacachi, for those who do not know, it is an experience by sounds, instruments and Andean music. The volcanos Mama Cotacachi and Taita Imbabura welcome us as majestic as their people. Indigenous people who surprise us with a form of community tourism which is very well organized, beautiful houses, lots of animals, delicious food and women who speak kichwa and at the same time they show us their beautiful smiles.
Joyful glances, the sun shining, beautiful dresses, very small people who stand out for their kindness and the way they talk. What a gift that life gives us the opportunity to share our workshops on oral tradition in the midst of this paradise of corn.
José Rodríguez “Chucho”